Fairey Gannet A.S. Mk.1 or Mk.4
Britain’s near-catastrophic experiences with German U-boats during World War Two led to increased awareness and respect for anti-submarine warfare (ASW). In 1945 a challenging naval specification for a carrier-based ASW/strike aircraft was issued. Ten years of design and development led to the adoption of the Fairey Gannet, a highly successful three-man aircraft built around a most unusual engine.
The Armstrong-Siddeley Double Mamba coupled turboprop engine boasted two independent power sections driving separate propellers. After both sections were used in the crucial take-off phase, one could be shut down to extend range and patrol time. Additionally, the engine could refuel from its aircraft carriers' own diesel fuel bunker, eliminating special aviation gas tanks on board. Fully armed with torpedoes, depth charges or rockets the plane had a maximum speed of 311 mph and a 662 nautical mile range.
Fully ten years after the initial specification, the Fairey Gannet reached the active fleet, in service with HMS Illustrious, HMS Ark Royal and HMS Eagle. Eventually, 255 of the up-rated version (Gannet AS Mk4) satisfied the Fleet Air Arms’ need to replace aging Fireflies and Avengers.
In 1958, the first prototype of the Gannet AEW Mk3 reached the fleet, fulfilling the need for an airborne early warning aircraft. The Mk3 incorporated major re-designs including a new fuselage and longer undercarriage to allow for a radome. The problems of fixed-wing aircraft on small decks led to the Gannet’s replacement by Wessex helicopters in the 1970’s, but a number have survived in museums. One survivor, a two-seat T5 model, is under restoration to fly in the USA
Twee uitvoeringen mogelijk:
Fairey Gannet A.S. Mk.1 - 1 Marinefliegergeschwader, Kriegsmarine, 1958.
Fairey Gannet A.S. Mk.4 - 815 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, H.M.S.Ocean, 1956.
Aantal onderdelen: 33
Released by FROG in 1970.